Lumber prices are rising, remodelers are confident, and two industry mainstays have been inducted to the NAHB National Remodeling Hall of Fame.
Lumber Prices Create Uncertainty for Remodelers
Lumber prices have repeatedly reached record highs over the last six months, introducing challenges and uncertainty into a remodeling industry that is otherwise enjoying a prosperous year. In December, the prices that builders and remodelers paid for softwood lumber rose by double digits (up 12.5%) following an almost 25% decline over the previous two months. While softwood lumber prices remain nearly 15% lower than the record high set in September, they are still much higher than normal, and it’s likely that forthcoming data will show even further increases in price. When viewed through the lens of material price volatility, the stability of remodeling speaks to enduring strength in the coming years as the nation rebuilds, post-pandemic. Material price fluctuations, namely softwood lumber, are likely to continue to make it difficult for remodelers to ensure they will be able to complete projects on time and on budget. Anecdotally, some builders and remodelers are providing quotes to clients that are only good for thirty days, due to the unpredictability of the market.
Confidence in Remodeling Market Remains High
In a good sign for the industry, NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) for the fourth quarter of 2020 posted a reading of 79, an indication that residential remodelers remain confident in the market, based on current conditions and future expectations. NAHB economists, through the RMI survey, ask remodelers to rate five components of the remodeling market as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Each question is measured on a scale from 0 to 100, where an index number above 50 indicates that a higher share view conditions as good than poor. The full RMI tables can be found at nahb.org/rmi.
Two Inducted into the National Remodeling Hall of Fame
Bob Peterson, a remodeler from Fort Collins, Colo., and Chicago-based remodeler Mike Nagel were inducted into the National Remodeling Hall of Fame by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made a significant and lasting impact in the remodeling field.
Nagel has received numerous accolades for his contributions to the industry over his 40-plus year career. He was named the NAHB Remodeler of the Year in 2004 and received the Distinguished Service Award from NAHB Remodelers in 2018. A partner in the firm MAW Chicago, Nagel is a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) and Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS). Nagel has held a variety of leadership positions within the remodeling and building industry.
Peterson is also a teacher, certified to teach eight NAHB designation courses nationwide. In addition to his CAPS and CGR designations, Peterson is a Certified Green Professional (CGP) and a Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR). Peterson has also received numerous honors throughout his career that spans more than four decades. He was NAHB’s Remodeler of the Year in 2007. Nagel and Peterson were recognized during the 2021 NAHB Remodelers Winter Board of Trustees meeting.